Detroit Tigers: 5 shortstop trade targets

Miguel Rojas in action against the New York Mets. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Miguel Rojas in action against the New York Mets. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers Shortstop Trade Option Number 5 – Kevin Newman

Detroit Tigers
Pirates shortstop Kevin Newman singles against the Detroit Tigers. Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Arguably the most uninspiring player on this list, Kevin Newman has been the least productive regular in baseball over the last two seasons, and he just put together his first positive defensive season. Newman is also 28 and heading into his first arbitration-eligible year, so he’s going to get slightly more expensive. So why even consider trading for him?

Well, not everything about Kevin Newman is bad. He’s a plus runner, he struck out in just 7.4% of his plate appearances last year, and he has some history of positive play. He won the Cape Cod League batting title twice, and as a rookie in 2019 he batted .308 with 12 home runs and 16 steals in 130 games, for a wRC+ of 109. The last two seasons make 2019 appear to be a fluke, but maybe there’s a way to meld Newman’s decent offensive 2019 with his decent defensive 2021 and end up with a solid player?

In any event, it probably wouldn’t cost much at all for the Tigers to land Newman from a clearly rebuilding Pirates team that likely wants to figure out if Cole Tucker or Oneil Cruz can handle shortstop on a regular basis at the MLB level.

The Tigers just added Elvin Rodriguez to their 40-man roster the other day, and while he probably doesn’t project as a starter at the MLB level, the Pirates might have the luxury of giving it a shot for a year or two. And if that doesn’t work out he has a decent enough arm to potentially carve out a role in the bullpen.

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